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APRIL 2004
Dr. Schimmel to present free workshop in NY
Diero works featured in Radio/Ballet/Theater
Texas Accordion Association Success
Eddie Ryan at Californian Fundraiser
WMAS Spring Activities
The Accordion is hot in Kansas City
Joan C. Sommers offers new CD reviews
Rock Accordion Summit
New Endangered Species CD
Tex Mex Night
Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
Victor Prieto in Concert
Joe Martino Announces new CD
Stas Venglevski performs Galla-Rini Concerto
Riders in the Sky
Stas Venglevski and John Simkus in Europe
Ivano Battiston in the USA
Cajun Celebration
ATAM Festival in New England
Art Van Damme Concert

Dr. William Schimmel presents free workshop in NY
Dr. William Schimmel, innovative teacher and philosopher, will present a special class for music teachers at the Greenwhich House Music School on April 23rd. The title of his presentation is The Ear as the Entire Musical Self.

Dr. Schimmel will explore new ways to develop the ear by way of visualization (the mental staff), history "pegs" to develop a deeper historical sense, and simple walking exercises designed to develop a phrasing kinesis. He will then demonstrate how these techniques can facilitate greater performance skills as well as compositional skills.

Although this lecture is for a non-accordion audience, he will present his new work "Seven Modes, Five Fingers for Accordion and Melodica, especially designed to demonstrate the techniques that will be covered in the lecture.

Dr. Schimmel has had wide experience in working with music students of all ages, from children to adults as well as special children, special adults and the training of teachers.

Dr. Schimmel is co-founder and co-director of the institute for private Studies with his wife, choreographer, director and film maker Micki Goodman. He is also co-director of the Neupauer conservatory order of the shield program. He lectures in many major universities such as Columbia, Princeton, Duke , the Graduate Center (CUNY) and serves on the Composition and Accordion faculty of New School University (New York City) in the jazz and contemporary music program.

Dr. Schimmel's lecture on April 23 is free and open to the public.
It will take place at the Greenwhich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street New York. Greenwich House Music School has been providing high quality, affordable music education to the people of New York City since 1905. The School has occupied its current location at 44 - 46 Barrow Street in historic Greenwich Village since 1914 and has played an important part in the careers and lives of tens of thousands of students including John Cage, Harry Chapin, Henry Cowell, Edgar Varese and former New York City mayor Ed Koch.

It is part of the Greenwhich House's 2004 arts in education Series. The lecture will begin at 4:30 PM. For more information please visit:

Guido Deiro works featured on Radio, Ballet and Theater

Radio: Concert accordionist Henry Doktorski's recently-released double-CD recording of the complete works of Guido Deiro (Bridge Records: "Vaudeville Accordion Classics") has been warmly received and broadcast by National Public Radio stations from Boston to San Francisco. Steve Post, the host of the widely popular "No Show" on the NPR radio station WNYC, featured the music of Guido Deiro during his Friday evening show, and other stations, such as WFCR at the University of Massachusetts, KXMS of Missouri Southern State University, WPRB in Princeton New Jersey, WPKN in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to name a few, also broadcast selections from the album on the airwaves. Attendees of the Texas Accordion Association's Annual Convention reported that Dallas radio stations also played tracks from Doktorski's CD anthology.

Ballet: Selections from "Vaudeville Accordion Classics" were featured as musical accompaniment for several theater and ballet productions. The Contemporary Ballet Dallas located in Dallas, Texas, showcased Doktorski's recordings in several performances during February and March. Guest choreographer, Holly Williams, formerly of the Mark Morris Dance Troupe, introduced Guido Deiro's music in her newest work, "Jelly Beans," which premiered at CBD's February concert. It was a festive, colorful and innately humorous piece set to the vaudeville accordion classics of Guido Deiro.

Theater: The Dallas Theater Center also used tracks from "Vaudeville Accordion Classics" during their recent production of "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" by Dario Fo (an Italian playwright who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997), which ran from January 20 to February 8. The show then traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where it was performed by the Pittsburgh Public Theater from March 4 to April 4 at the O'Reilly Theater. During the run of this show, Doktorski was interviewed by WQED-FM radio and talked about Guido Deiro's exciting life and his great contribution to the music world.

To listen to soundfiles from "Vaudeville Accordion Classics," or to order the CD-set, visit

2004 TAA National "Homecoming" Convention

This year's TAA Festival in tribute of Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini's 100th birthday was held at the Omni Hotel in Richardson, Texas. There were over 200 participants presenting an outstanding array of talented accordionists and workshop leaders who gave everyone countless hours of great enjoyment. The week's activities began on Wednesday a welcome dinner.

Thursday's activities included a 6:00 am wakeup call for the Dallas area morning TV show which was promoting the convention. That plus other media attention boosted attendances throughout the event. (Pictured left are Betty Jo Simon and Dan Christian while right, are Betty Jo Simon and Tony Lovello displaying some accordion antics for the cameras!)

This year there were four orchestras led by Alice Aman, Mary Medrick, Dan and Kim Christian, and Auckland Symphony Orchestra Director (New Zealand) Gary Daverne.

The different levels and types of music presented by each orchestra provided many opportunities for involvement by all accordionists. Friday morning set the fast pace for accordion extravaganza with workshops by MIDI accordionist Betty Jo Simon (pictured left) while Ron Pivovar's workshop showed us the Slovenian style and emphasized the harmony and unique style of Lojze Slak. Gordon Kohl showed participants how to embellish their own style of playing with transitions that appeal to the audience. Nick Ballarini demonstrated a new Petosa accordion and gave a lesson on Accordion 101: what to look for in an accordion, demonstrating different sounds and types of accordion models.

Stas Venglevski of Milwaukee, President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild (ATG) and jazz artist John Simkus of Chicago teamed together to reveal a smooth duet style with seamless coordination between bayan and piano accordion. Jane Christison returned to TAA to show us more about Music with a Smile with her toe-tapping enthusiastic workshop teaching about presentation and personal marketing. Marilyn Monsivais of Houston gave an audience participation workshop on rhythm and demonstrated styles of playing the accordion and the "stump fiddle". Later The "K" Trio gave a master workshop on trio performance, Tony Lovello, the Liberace of the accordion, presented with unbounded energy a workshop performance that everyone loved, showing flashing beginnings and endings in classic Lovello style. Henry Doktorski introduced Vaudeville Accordion Classics with music from Guido Deiro.

Saturday morning was a full presentation with workshops from Jim Wadowick of the Alabama Accordion Association and owner of Ja-Mar Music. Jim Wadowick and Jim Rommel gave an unforgettable presentation of ragtime and the MIDI accordion with tuba accompaniment by Rommel. (Pictured left is Betty Jo Simon, soloist and Conductor Gary Daverne working over the Galla-Rini Concerto No. 1 in G minor, 3rd mov in preparation for the Saturday night concert. Betty Jo was accompanied by the TAA Festival Accordion Orchestra.)

Later Jim Rommel showed participants How to Really Play a Polka and sing at the same time! Tom Sullivan gave a workshop on Workshops. Joe Cardinale taught us to play rhythm with percussion, and Mark Halata gave us Texas-Moravian Accordion music. Visiting accordionists, Havard and Karen Svendsrud of Norway demonstrated a superb style on bayan accordion with solo and duet performances that brought the audience to their feet. Dan & Kim Christian presented Musical Styles for Every Accordion showing their versatility and talent in working with young performers. Additionally, Betty Jo Simon, Tony Lovello, Mike Sullivan, Jane Christison, and Nick Ballarini gave additional workshops allowing everyone an opportunity to share ideas.

The Friday evening performances were best remembered by the performance by Russian bayan players (pictured right) Stas Venglevski of Milwaukee, Anatoliy Yegorov of San Antonio and Yelena & Greg Fainstein of Dallas who gave us a surprise performance of superb Russian folk music that kept the audience applauding for several minutes. The 2004 Texas Accordion Convention was one to be remembered. So many wonderful times with so many great workshops and performers.

Please visit related article - Everything is Bigger and Better in Texas

Eddie Ryan Featured at Sinatra Invitational Golf Event

Californian based accordionist Eddie Ryan performed in Palm Springs during a 3 day Golf and Fashion Show Frank Sinatra Invitational Golf Tournament.

It didn’t take a lot of finagling to get accordionist Eddie to play "Finiculi-Finicula" on his as guests entered the Renaissance Esmeralda ballroom, said his wife, Rose, at the "Everything Italian" luncheon and fashion show for the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center chaired by Nelda Linsk for the umpty-umpth year and one of the must-do’s in the four-day event.

"He’s three-quarters Italian," explained Ryan, her eyes on a roll. "And, oh-my-god, I loved the fashion show, the suits, the furs, the gowns were exquisite!"

Tony Bennett, who Frank Sinatra said Is the best singer in the business, headlined the 16th annual Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament Gala, Saturday, February 14, 2004 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort, Indian Wells, CA to benefit the nonprofit Barbara Sinatra Children's Center at Eisenhower for abused children. The Tournament Gala caps off two days of exciting amateur/celebrity golf, three evenings of great parties, dazzling Fashion Show Luncheon, and Get-Away Brunch & Tour of the Children's Center hosted by Barbara Sinatra.

The mission of the nonprofit Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center is to counsel physically, sexually and emotionally abused children and to break the generational cycle of abuse. When Barbara and Frank Sinatra founded the Center in 1986, they pledged to help all children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay for services.

WMAS Announces Spring Activities

The Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) is pleased to announce the following upcoming events to being the Spring season:

  • April 13: Marjamaan Pojat (Lee Simonson & Vic Aijala), Finnish accordion music
  • May 11: Member mini-concert
  • June 8: Michael B. Rubin and "The World of Jewish Music"

All performances will take place at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, VA 22044-1006.

The mission of WMAS (pronounced Wah-mass) is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the national capital region. Meetings are held the second Tuesday every month at 7:30 PM at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church.

Dues are $15 a year and for further information, please contact the president Karen Denice
(703) 671-5395 or e-mail: Internet:

The Accordion is Hot in Kansas City

Kansas City accordionist Brett Gibson is a regular fixture at the popular Irish Pub and Restaurant O'Douds, located in the heart of the famous Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Performing regularly with Guitarist/Vocalist Eddie Delahunt and Tim McBain, Brett blends some of the traditional Celtic music with his own original music and arrangements. Brett performs at O'Douds twice weekly, Wednesdays and Sundays from 8:00 - midnight.

In addition, Brett (pictured left) also performs with two other bands including the popular band Shenanigans, and in his own newly formed band called Residence Rules.

A native of New Zealand, Brett provides virtuoso performances on both button and piano accordions, having competed against and trained New Zealand national champions on that instrument.

Brett's new band Residence Rules is named for a standing rule in the Celtic region enabling hotel residents to have 24/7 access to the hotel pub. Residence Rules mixes Irish, Scottish and Latin influences into a musical mold that defies belief. It is Kansas City’s newest and freshest Celtic based band Blending sounds that pulse beyond folk traditions.

Depending on which member of the group we're talking about, their musical influences range from Natalie McMaster to Bach. The current lineup of Residence Rules includes accordion, fiddle, flutes and whistles, bodhran, drums, conga, bass and guitar with bagpipes and harp being added for special performances.

For his performances at O'Douds, Brett calls on all these resources to provide a contemporary upbeat Celtic style which keeps the audience highly entertained and always asking for more!

To add to the variety, it is common for other musicians to sit in with the regular artists. This weekend was no exception, when former Kansas City resident William Melton joined the stage for a set of numbers.

William began taking accordion lessons from Joan C. Sommers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) when he was about 10 years old. One of the Universities original students, William took lessons from 1961 until 1967. He played in the popular Accordionaires accordion orchestra until he was 15. On the very first Accordionaires album where he describes himself as 'the little 10 year old kid sitting in the front row with the crewcut!'

As time went on, William pursued
other instruments, and ended up going to college on a music scholarship for French horn. After beginning Law School, his time for music faded away and ended up dropping music all together for about 20 years.

After someone bought him a harmonica, he started taking lessons and played quite a bit. This led to William co-authoring a book called "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing the Harmonica" that was published 3 years ago. The co-author also lives in NYC and plays professionally there. He was more of the musical inspiration for the book and I was more of the writer says William. It is part of the Complete Idiot's Guide Series - the bright orange books you see everywhere.

About this time, Williiam also started missing the accordion and ended up buying an old used one - about 90 years old and has a very sweet "wet" tuning. It is really ideal for playing Irish and other ethnic music. For 3 years, William played accordion and harmonica in Thistle, a local Kansas City band which is where he met bass player Allan McGinty who worked around the Kansas City area.

While on a work 3 year work assignment abroad, he was moving around so much that I didn't have my accordion with me most places. But in Switzerland, he went out and bought an accordion and did a weekend gig in a local restaurant below the apartment where he was living. He billed himself as Switzerland's greatest Irish accordionist (he considered it a reasonably safe bet since he seemed to be the only one!) The Swiss hear a lot of accordion polkas, but not much Irish music so seemed to really like it.

Now William lives in New York City and is eager to join a local Irish or Folk Band, however while on a visit to Kansas City was happy to have the chance to play Brett's accordion and join in the music making for the evening. By chance one member of the original Accordionaires group from all those years ago was in attendance, so it was a great reunion for all.

Visitors to Kansas City are invited each Wednesday and Sunday evening to stop by O'Douds for some local Irish flavor while enjoying the Kansas City hospitality.

For information, please contact: or visit them on the Internet at:

Joan C. Sommers offers International CD Reviews

Accordions Worldwide, the largest accordion resource available on the Internet, recently welcomed Professor Joan Cochran Sommers as a Recordings Reviewer. Joan Sommers will join esteemed Italian Dr. Paolo Picchio to produce the reviews.

Professor Sommers has a long history of assisting the development of the accordion in her professional capacity and also in different executive positions of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) and at the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA).

For these reviews, please visit:

The Rock Accordion Summit in Philadelphia

The Rock Accordion Summit - a concert series showcasing real rock bands playing loud, high-energy music with accordion - made a recent stop in Philadelphia.

The Rock Accordion Summit (a.k.a. the Punk Accordion Summit) descended upon New York City last August. Playing a sold-out show in the East Village, four acts rocked and screamed until the early morning.

The Summit brought together an audience of hipsters, punks, accordion enthusiasts, and the accordion-curious. They drank, cheered, sang along (pretty much in that order) and left knowing this: the accordion rocks. With every show offering a different lineup, the only thing you're sure to hear is loud, raucous accordions!

For further information on upcoming events, please e-mail:

Endangered Species CD by Jim Wadowick
Alabama accordionist, Jim Wadowick, executive director of the Alabama Accordionists' Association, has just released a CD which proved a hit at last weeks TAA convention.

Wadowick has produced a compilation of ten of the most popular ragtime classics including: Twelfth St. Rag, Dill Pickles, Spaghetti Rag, The Entertainer, Maple Leaf Rag, Solace, Texas Rag (an original by Wadowick), Sweet Georgia Brown, Kitten on the Keys, and Dizzy Fingers. The last two numbers are not technically rags, but rather "piano novelties" which were popular right after the rag time era, which lasted from roughly 1895 to 1917.

For the recording, Wadowick used an Excelsior with midi running an Orla sound module to produces the piano sounds. "Endangered Species" sold well at the TAA convention where Wadowick gave two lectures on ragtime history and performed at each workshop. Wadowick is now forming a ragtime trio to perform with tuba and banjo on April 3 for the annual Troyfest in Troy, Alabama.

For further information, E-mail:

Mingo Saldivar and 'Tex Mex Night'

"Masters of Mexican Music" recently featured Mingo Saldivar and others such as Trio Chalchihuecan from the Gulf of Mexico port city of Veracruz.

Texas-born Mingo Saldivar and his band, all in black clothes, followed with roadhouse-style conjunto. Forget that Pepsi commercial imagining a young Jimi Hendrix passing up the accordion for the guitar - the charismatic Saldivar's pumping button-accordion playing is anything but schlocky, and his Tejano-meets-country-meets-polka interpretations of Johnny Cash brought a little grit to the upscale room said a recent review.

One of the most innovative and electrifying accordionists in Tejano conjunto history, Mingo Saldivar is unmatched in his virtuosic playing style and prolific songwriting abilities. A San Antonio native, Saldivar has been performing professionally since 1947. With diverse influences from rock and R&B;, his accordion style featured rapid-fire fingering, accentuated phrasing and extended melody lines. Taking his cue from other musical genres, Saldivar's vibrant stage personality has earned him the beloved title "The Dancing Cowboy."

In 1975 Saldivar formed his current group, Los Tremendos Cuatro Espadas, which continues to be one of the most progressive conjuntos in South Texas. By tastefully and enthusiastically combining traditional conjunto rhythms (polka, waltz, huapango, etc.) with country, R&B; and rock and roll, Saldivar's music broadens an unmistakable Tex-Mex spirit. Recognition of this successful merging of tradition and innovation came when he was nominated for a Grammy award in 1993.

He has performed nationally at such prestigious institutions and events as Carnegie Hall, Wolf Trap and the 1992 Presidential Inaugural. In the last several years, Saldivar has become a sensation in Northern Mexico, performing for enormous audiences and even sparking a dance craze based on his own eccentric movements.

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

By Jay M. Todd

Polka fanciers will be excited that “King of the Polka” Walter Ostanek will be a major headliner at this year’s June 13-16 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, the world’s largest accordion entertainment and educational event for accordion amateurs, professionals, and enthusiasts.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary with a gala focus, “A World of Entertainment,” the convention not only will feature Ostanek of St. Catherine, Ontario, Canada, but Polka Hall of Famer Don Lipovac, prominent European accordionists, a well-known Australian accordionist, accordion-jazz legend Art Van Damme, master of the bellow-shake Tony Lovello, and a wide range of other outstanding accordion stylists.

Expected to draw over 500 attendees at the Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, the four-day annual event features four major evening concerts, over 40 workshops and master classes going hourly from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., lunch-hour feasting and entertainment, followed by a daily “lunch with a legend discussion series.” Ostanek is scheduled to be a “lunch discussion legend.” As is well-known to polka fanciers, Ostanek, next only to the legendary Frankie Yankovic, has made over 50 recordings and been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, winning three. His Slovenian Cleveland-style polka and waltz have landed him in both the Cleveland and Chicago Polka Halls of Fame. Accompanying Ostanek will be father and son duo Gaylord and Eddy Kalcncik.

“Accordionists and enthusiasts gather to be entertained, instructed, mingle with each other and visit with the legends,” says Paul Pasquali, convention founder. The convention includes exhibits of interest to polka fanciers, concert musicians, technicians, and non-playing enthusiasts. Exhibitors of both conventional and electronic (digital) accordions will be present, including Italian manufacturers of several major accordion lines, as well as Pasquali’s
well-known digital Concerto accordion.

Workshops range from playing techniques, ABCs of playing by ear, ethnic, classical, and jazz music, improvisation approaches, accordion repair, and health of the accordionist. “Workshops are geared to techniques and styles of music so that persons of almost any playing level can benefit. Even non-accordion players keep telling us they find the classes very enlightening,”
Pasquali said. “Since most people travel some distance, usually by plane, we plan the convention without the necessity of persons needing to bring their accordion. One of the big things people say they like is the friendly atmosphere and magical experience it is to eat great food, hear incredible accordion music, and talk with everyone. There really is nothing like it in all of the accordion world,” he said.

Other leading accordionists and accordion educators scheduled are husband-wife performing team Mario Tacca & Mary Mancini, symphony concert artist Peter Soave, bayanist Stas Venglevski, the two sisters-one brother classical musical “K Trio,” multi-instrumentalist Alex Meixner, accordionist-comedian Pete Barbutti, award-winning Britisher Gina Brannelli, electronic accordion virtuoso Janet Todd, Mirco Patarini of Italy, Australian Bernadette Conlon, Gordon Kohl, and The Truccos, among others.

Tony Lovello will receive a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his five decades of performing. Known for his razzle-dazzle of glissandos, bellow shakes, and showmanship, Lovello played years ago with The Three Suns and since with many famous entertainers. Also honored as this year’s Honorary Conductor, an annual tribute to an accordion icon, will be accordion educator Joan Cochran Sommers who directed for years a highly regarded University of Missouri-Kansas City accordion program. The convention also bestows awards to a young adult amateur or professional, an inspirational teacher, and an accordion club that has contributed significantly within its community.

For more information and details, call toll-free 1-800-472-1695 or click on the web to Jay M. Todd, a retired editor turned writer lives in Holladay, Utah, has long been a accordion & polka fan.

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention at a Glance:

  • Internet:
  • When: June 13 - 16, 2004
  • Price: $395 single or $695 couple
  • Where: Plaza Hotel, #1 Main Street, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Contact person: Paul Pasquali
  • E-mail:
  • Phone number: 800-472-0016
  • General: WELCOME!!!!

Please visit related article - Convention Aims at Accordion Enthusiasts

Victor Prieto at the Knitting Factory

Accordionist Victor Prieto is keeping very busy and gaining a popular following in Brooklyn and Manhattan and beyond. His varied repertoire is currently based in Original, Popular Standards and Jazz Tango.

Victor Prieto started his musical career at the age of nine, encouraged by his mother to concentrate studies into the accordion,Victor has now come a long way. Victor earned his classical music diploma earned in the Professional Classical Music Conservatory of Orense. (Conservatorio Profesional de Musica de Orense).

Although this accordion background focused on classical training, Victor always aimed for the contemporary freedom in the Jazz idiom. He studied Jazz at Estudio Escola de Musica in Santiago de Compostela.

Victor Prieto Trio will be featured in concert in April at the The Knitting Factory (the Old Office)
on Monday 5th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. The Trio includes Victor Prieto (accordion), Alexis Cuadrado (upright) and Franco Pinna (drums). For more info call: 718-232-6200

Mid April, Victor Prieto Trio will appear at Nublu located at 62 AVE C. The concert will be
Thursday 15th from 9:00 to 10:30 PM with a $5.00 admission. The Trio includes Victor Prieto (accordion), Carlo De Rosa (upright) and Franco Pinna (drums). For more information, please call: 212-979-9925.

What they are saying about Victor:

"The Accordion at its best.......... All the musicians are the cream of the crop, such as Spanish accordion great Victor Prieto" reports the New York Post.

It is always amazing when musicians connect on a higher level than notes and rhythms, when they can combine the best of their past experience with an openness to the new. Such is the case with this formation. A duo formed of Carlo DA Rosa on bass and Victor Prieto on accordion. The two have found an unlikely chemistry, and have created a vibrant sound in a way that no body would have expected.

For more information on Victor, please visit or you can contact him at Phone:1-718-384-7644

Accordionist Joe Martino announces his CD

Joe Martino is a singer and accordionist performing Italian and American standards for audiences around the globe.

He has also released a CD entitled "Accordion to Sinatra", an accordion and vocal tribute to Frank Sinatra.

On his new website, you can read Joe's biography, listen to soundclips from the CD, and keep up-to-date on his upcoming shows and appearances.

Stas Venglevski keeps Busy Schedule

In addition to actively making preparations for the Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival (July 21-25, 2004) ATG President, bayanist Stas Venglevski, has had a busy few months, presenting a broad variety of performances, all over the globe.   One wonders if his feet  ever touch the ground!   Besides his busy performance schedule, composing and teaching round out his schedule.

In the past few weeks performances include appearances on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion Public Radio Show,"  a performance with the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra on a unique equestrian program - "There's Got to be a Pony," a lengthy European tour of Germany and  Austria; at the American Accordion Musicological Society in Philadelphia, PA; at the Texas Accordion Association, etc.  A series of concerts at various venues for the University of Southern Mississippi are forthcoming as well as performances in Seattle, WA, at the Las Vegas International Convention; at the American Accordion Association; and, of course, at the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, Int. festival in his home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Next week, while on tour in Mississippi, Stas will perform the Anthony Galla-Rini Concerto #2 with pianist in two concerts on April 3rd and 4th, 2004.

Stas' reputation as an international virtuoso of the bayan continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  For more information about this sensational bayanist, refer to his web site

Riders in the Sky on Tour
"Riders in the Sky" featuring Joey Miskulin - "The Cow Polka King!" - is no stranger to any medium or genre. Accordion in hand, he's garnished audio and video recordings, movie tracks and live performances for rock 'n roll artists and polka bands alike.

Riders in the Sky proclaimed him "Joey The Cowpolka King" after he appeared on their recordings and their radio show, Riders Radio Theater.

They performed two concerts in March:

  • 14 March, at the Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, Tennessee.
  • 27 March, at Nashville North USA, Inc, Taylorville, Illinois.

For further details on upcoming concerts, please e-mail:

European Tour for ATG President

During his tour in Austria from February 26th to March 3rd, Stas Venglevski appeared in St. Lorenzen, Neunkirchen, Lavamünd, Hochegg and Vienna. His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought "Stas" Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso.

A two-time first prize winner of bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Professor Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. Stas also performs as a member of the A Sta_Sera Duo where he combines talents with accordionist, John Simkus, known primarily for his smooth jazz renditions. Their musical partnership has resulted in a unique repertoire and as a duo they have toured the United States and Europe extensively and collaborated on a CD of original compositions titled Seasonings.

Ivano Battiston Tours USA
Accordionist Ivano Battiston and the flautist David Bellugi made a series of concerts and masterclasses in universities in Minnesota and Iowa. Their program mainly comprised music from the renaissance and the baroque period (Ortiz, Bach and Vivaldi), contemporaries (Berio, Bellugi/Battiston) and ethnic (Eastern Europe).

For further details on furture concerts, please e-mail:

Cajun/Creole Week in the USA
The Cajun/Creole Week celebration will be held on the 11th to 16th July at Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College, West Virginia. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Cajun/Creole Week celebrates the French traditions of southwest Louisiana through music, dance, song, crafts, folklore and food. The event features senior artists and young inheritors of these traditions. Coordinator Lynne Terr has assembled a "who's who" of Cajun culture including the Savoy family, three members of the Miller family and Zydeco Force, a band with many ties to the late Delton Broussard.

Again, the event offers several levels of fiddle and accordion, including classes for complete beginners. Each day starts with a choice of jam sessions or visits to the Cajun Resource room where you can browse, visit with the "accordion doctor," and enjoy many other activities.

For further details e-mail:

Annual ATAM Festival in New England

Accordionists in New England are in for a weekend of exciting band competition and great music at the Annual ATAM 2004 New England Music Competition and Festival.

The competition, which is open for competitors up to the age of 22 who are students of ATAM teacher members, includes competitions for solos, duos, ensembles and bands, and some noncompetitive categories. A weekend feature is the Awards Banquets and over $3,000.00 in prizes and cash awards with a special guest performance by the "K Trio".

The Accordion Teachers' Association of Massachusetts was established in 1962 and organizes the festival free of charge to the public, drawing over 1,200 contestants who take part in accordion, drum, guitar, keyboard, piano, and voice competition categories for children from 6 to 22 years.

For further information, e-mail:

Art Van Damme Performs at Wayne State University
Wayne State University Department of Music in Detroit, Michigan proudly presents legendary jazz accordionist Art Van Damme for a special concert on April 5, 2004 as part of their 2003/4 Professional Artist Series.

Performing with Van Damme is David Taylor, drums, Steven Carryer, guitar, Ray Tini, bass and special guest Peter Soave, accordion tutor at Wayne State. The concert is being held in the Schaver Music Recital Hall of Wayne State University. For further information, e-mail

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